Good Luck Tour New Orleans to Nashville November 30 2016, 0 Comments
Waking up late in New Orleans after a very late night and Dave gone! I realize I better get on the road asap! I haul ass north towards Mississippi on the 55 towards Jackson. I had a feeling of panic, but also a free feeling, as this was the first time I was riding alone on this trip. I pushed the CB550 harder than ever on this day and the girl was holding up fine. It had no problem running the bike at 100 mph for hours. I passed a wreck on the other side of the highway with multiple emergency vehicles and it gave me a reminder to settle down and get there in one piece. I pulled off alongside of the road to check the oil and chain slack and Dave came pulling up behind me smiling. He had heard me scream by at a rest stop.
We continued on, looking for gas and supplies were hard to come by in this part of the state. Our friends in New Orleans recommended the Natchez Trace Parkway all the way to Nashville because it was a byway with no trucks , just unlimited trees and scenery. Jackson was quick and then we hit the Natchez Trace. It was everything we heard it was. There was a nice lake along side of it as well. What we didn't really realize was that it was getting late and sun was setting. So we turned around and went to a campground at Goshen Springs, next to Tommy's Trading Post where we met some really nice people.
We did the normal drive around looking for a camp spot. Dave's electrical on his throttle assembly had failed a few days back so he had to jump start his bike each time. He was pushing his bike, jumped on and got tangled up with his pack and fell over. When that GL1000 goes over it's not pretty! I helped him up but no real damage just few scrapes. Mosquitos were out so we had to quickly adjust to camp life and get our shit set up get lathered in mosquito repellent and cook up our canned raviolis! We saw a giant spider crawling towards our camp gear! Uh oh! The neighbors were real friendly and this lady was on her phone telling her daughter in her thick backwoods accent, to come on down to the camp, "cause there were some real nice men here!"
The next morning we get an amazing basic breakfast at Tommy's Trading Post where these ladies serving food pretty much should've had cigarettes hanging out of their mouths. The road felt good on this day. The weather was perfect and we were excited to ge tot Nashville.
Here I am looking for my GoPro that fell out of my pocket somewhere? I thought I could get lucky and spot it along this stretch. Dave recorded the best conversation between two local boys at a gas stop. We couldn't understand one word of the accent but it sounded interesting. Unfortunately all the iPhone pics and video were lost by hurricane matthew.. but that is still to come.
We found this nice round about at a rest stop and did some laps to get some shots. It was pretty fun ripping around this loop.
From here we continued north along the Natchez Trace which is an ancient trail used by the native americans, settlers and later african americans fleeing the south. Miles and miles of trees with no intersections or trucks. As it started to turn into dusk we noticed deer popping out everywhere. The were alarmed by the sound of our bikes and would run off. As it got darker there were so many that it felt dangerous to be on the road anymore. Just then a detour popped up and forced us onto the regular highway. It was dark now so we decided to go as fast as possible to Nashville which was still another hour or so away. Digging deep we made into town and called up our buddy Jimmy from Moto Moda and he took care of us with food and lodging!
Good Luck Tour Louisiana November 23 2016, 0 Comments
From Austin we headed east again to Louisiana. To New Orleans is about 500 miles, so to many miles to do in one day without killing ourselves. We steered away from Houston and opted to stop in Lake Charles for the night with a nice rib dinner.
(above) This stop for gas we realized we were now in Louisiana and the topography did change quite a bit. The gas station had tubs of "tall boys" on ice next to the cash register, so it was a nice welcome.
Our accommodations in New Orleans! We were at a friends of my brothers in the Garden District. My chain had slacked out again just as we pulled into New Orleans, so I pull doff and tightened it again. Our gracious host proceeded to take us to Magazine Street where there were these beautiful restaurants and bars booming with life.
We toured through all of Bourbon Street and stopped at our hosts favorite bars (off the beaten path). Great food, great drinks and an energy that is unique to New Orleans.
After staying out all night and heading home I decided to go out for more! My hosts girlfriend was like hell ya let's go. Dave crashed out and we went and got some more drinks, since this city never sleeps! Dave woke up around 9:00 and saw that I was not moving for awhile so he decided to take off ahead of me up into Mississippi.
Good Luck Tour Austin, Texas November 23 2016, 0 Comments
Pretty wiped out from the ride the day before we sleep in before exploring Austin in the daylight. We cruised around downtown and then went to Revival Motorcycles and visited with them for a bit.
Reunion with the original CB550 "Black and Tan"
After getting some awesome mexican food, Dave needed a new battery a haircut and I needed smokes so we headed out. We found everything we needed in one spot in southwest part of town. Black Sheep Lodge took care of us for the afternoon with beers, lunch and good people.
Later we checked out our buddies band practice. Their band name is great, "Crocodile Tears".
Next Stop.. New Orleans
Good Luck Tour Heading to Texas November 23 2016, 0 Comments
After a rough night's sleep and hearing very large animals moving around in the shrubs we woke at the KOA and headed south to Texas. Weather was perfect and the ride was actually very pleasant heading down to Texas.
We hauled ass for about 300 miles and Dave's headlight was not working so when the sun set we stopped. We happened to be in a town near Littlefield, Texas. Once again we had trouble finding food. Texas does not have many options, it's pretty much McDonald's, Burger King and Sonic everywhere you go. I think we opted for McDonald's that night.
The next days ride would be long as it was 408 miles to Austin. It ws sunny and nice once again so we got an early start and we were very optimistic about Austin.
The streets in Abilene were all tore up and shrapnel everywhere. We stopped for gas and low and behold, my front tire was flat. I did the "fix it" aerosol and it worked to get us to a motorcycle shop. We found this harley chop shop in a rough part of town and the guy there didn't have time for me so I changed out the tube myself in the blazing sun. I also picked up a new headlight as my headlight was barely hanging on with electrical tape.
After the tire change we were starving and could not find anywhere to eat. We found Mary's, which ws closed so we went across the street to a ice cream shop and the lady made us some delicious sandwiches. Thankful for any kind of food we got on our way to Austin. We had burned about four hours with the tire issue so that meant more hauling ass and arriving late. We made it to Austin about 9:00 and we were greeted by our old friend Thomas who had purchased the original "Black and Tan" CB550 a few years ago. Thomas and his girlfriend take us out to a music show at an awesome spot with amazing bands and food.
Good Luck Tour Colorado Springs to New Mexico November 10 2016, 0 Comments
Leaving Colorado Springs was difficult for us. Not only did we find a new love for Colorado, but also our new friends at Lee Spirits Co. make sure we were sent out the night before. We plan our route like we did every morning, but today we had a list of 12 different highways that we needed to turn on to not head to the wrong Las Vegas.
We head out and the now familiar Colorado miles were business as usual. We did our best to soaking in as much of the twists that we could, we couldn’t be sure which one would be our last before heading into New Mexico and over to Texas.
After our first hundred miles or so we came across the 165. One of the best stretches of roads we’ve hit not the trip so far. There where countless miles of well kept pavement, no other vehicles, and some of the best sweepers the entire way. We stopped here and there at different spots just to get some last looks of some of the best from Colorado.
We take the 165 to Colorado City were there is a decision to be made. We could take the mountainous/scenic route the more direct route that would but us a good deal closer to our destination. Since we had a bit of a later start and signs of my headlight failing, we decide to go direct. Though it was only another 200 miles, they would prove to be by far the most challenging yet. As soon as we jump onto the 25 heading south, we realize just how much of a treat the 165 was. Just one last gift from Colorado before entering a terrain that could not be more different from what we had been so spoiled with.
It wasn’t that long ago we spent days in the cold, rain, and snow but the staleness of the endless straights and nothing around farther than the eye can see proved to be a mental strain that is manifests into physical pain. Spending all of our energy to stay focused and not allow our minds to wander. I was experiencing spouts of exhaustion and admittedly allowed my eyelids to blink slightly longer than i should have. With no protection from the wind around us a serious gust of wind hit us and nearly threw me off my bike. Though it was sketchy, it did give me much needed waking blow to end the battle of exhaustion.
Dave made the mistake of putting his can of Meat Lover's Stew next to the fire without venting the lid... you can guess what happened. While Dave walked off to the bathroom the can exploded and meat stew was all over everything!
Campground at Las Vegas, NM ... Dave lost all the pictures on his phone from Hurricane Matthew so the pics from this part of the trip are few.
As it gets closer to dusk we sort out a campground in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Absolutely no relation to Las Vegas, Nevada. We set up camp after a long and strenuous day of riding and do the best we could to prepare ourselves for the start of our time through Texas.
Good Luck Tour Colorado October 20 2016, 0 Comments
The night before apparently we had gotten the last room in town so we felt pretty lucky to wake up rested in our not so awesome motel room in Cortez, Co. It had rained again the night before so it did put a little worry on us that we would have to get the rain gear out again. After checking the forecast it looked like we were going to be okay and the chance of rain was slim. We packed up and we were determined to make it across Colorado's width to Colorado Springs. My chain had stretched out a bit so I tightened it before departing today.
The first hundred miles of the day is always easy and today was particularly pleasant. We were making good time, the sun was out and the tempature was perfect. Just as we were approaching our first gas stop my bike started sputtering again. I thought it was the mechanical advance again and we pulled over to adjust it. As it turns out I was just low on gas. When the tank would get low there isn’t enough gravity to allow the correct flow. Daves GL1000’s tank is bigger than mine so I have to be concerned about fuel and keep an eye on my GPS odometer. I filled up and the sputtering stopped.
We had to make choice between the million dollar highway 550 pass or go through Pagosa Springs and up the 160. We opted for the160 because it would be faster. The other route would add another day and we had so many delays already we chose the faster route. We cruised through Durango and made our way to Pagosa Springs. There hadn’t been hardly any nice turns to ride so far so I was looking forward to doing some twistys. The road did not disappoint but my bike did not like the hill climb at all. Dave sped ahead and was nowhere to be found and the 550 was barely making up the grade. After making it up the steep grade the bike was fine and I caught up to Dave. We rolled through some great country in the middle of Colorado.
We stopped and had lunch at a random Mexican restaurant, which turned out to be very authentic and good. After the short rest we were pushing the miles once again. We were looking to do 400 miles on this day so we again opted for the most direct route instead of the curvy roads through Lake City to make it to Colorado Springs. The rain clouds were looming over the mountains and it seemed like we could hit rain at any moment. The flat route turned out to be dry but it wasn’t without difficulty. The wind was very strong and cold, plus the boredom of a flat straight road can let your mind wander, which can lead to mistakes. My bike again did not like the head wind and I had to pin it in a full tuck to keep speed.
At the last fill up for the day, in Buena Vista, we were both freezing, I bought some knit gloves to put on under my regular gloves which didn’t work at all. We hauled ass the rest of the way to Colorado Springs where we were to meet some friends from Boulder Street Motorcycle Club. As soon as we pulled into Colorado Springs the tempature went up about ten degrees which felt like a Jacuzzi after freezing most of the afternoon.
The guys from Boulder Street MC told us to go “this cool bar we know of” called Brooklyn’s on Boulder, so we headed there directly. A stiff drink sounded like the best thing ever after this day. When we arrive it is a tiny space with some really fancy ties and suits? What the hell is going on here? Then a small slider opens and a nice pair of eyes looks at us without saying anything, apparently judging our ragged demeanor. She says, “are you looking for a drink?” we nod without much said and she invites us in. This was the coolest speakeasy entrance ever. We ordered manhattans and were delighted on how good they were, as I brush the bugs off my jacket sleeves. We ask the waiter “what kind of whiskey is this?” He says, “we only do gin here my friends.” It was whiskey barreled aged gin by Lee Spirits and it was fantastic. Our buddies weren’t going to make it as they were getting ready for DGR ride in the morning so we got a pizza and a hotel. Whew that was long day.
Good Luck Tour Snow! October 18 2016, 0 Comments
We wake up rested and ready after a night of shenanigans and snow. The roads are looking somewhat dry and we head out to actually begin this motorcycle trip.
It was gorgeous out so we decided to hang for a bit and do some filming with the drone. Jacob Day had spent days with us to get some drone footage and he only had one clip so far. Here is the footage from Cedar Breaks, Utah
We said goodbye to our friends and Dave and I headed east to start doing some miles and get out of the cold and wetness. Originally we planned to go more north into Utah but we decided to change course and go south through Arizona just north of the Grand Canyon toward southern Colorado.
Hauling ass we see hunters everywhere which means deer, so we keep a sharp eye out all the time for moving objects coming on the road. The road along the north ridge of the Grand Canyon was smooth and open and warm. Bypassing Monument Valley we saved an hour or so and keep riding a few hours after dusk. I should mention dusk lasted a very long time that evening and the colors as we headed east were not of this world. I wanted to take some photos but we were so bent to make it to our destination there was no time to stop and get the cameras out. Only time to pee and go. We make it to Cortez, Co. about two hours after dark, just in time for a burger and a welcomed beer at the local tavern.
Good Luck Tour Dirt roads in Utah October 18 2016, 0 Comments
photo Tom Laveuf
After our first night in Brian Head, Utah we had a few hours break from the storm. We decided to do a little exploring on some dirt roads up a ski slope. I'm not going to lie, I didn't feel that great about taking a bike that has no business on the dirt. Especially this early on the trip, the last thing I wanted to do was screw up my bike doing something stupid.
photo Tom Laveuf
Like most things that are a bad idea, it was a lot of fun. There were a couple of four runners in the garage, so the crew hoped on those and we headed up into the hills. Everything was going great. The trees looked amazing and it was beautiful out until I hit some of the clay like mud!
more to come on this story...
Good Luck Tour Utah Fall Color & Rain October 15 2016, 0 Comments
photo Jacob Day
Starting our day by rotating our gloves, pants, boots, and socks on the heater in our room in Cedar City, we prepare our minds for another day in the wet. But, we first had to sort out Tom's bike. The reg/rec arrived at a nearby Holiday Inn were Dave and I met up with Tom and Jacob who were already busy at work swapping parts. We used the down time to figure out our next route with the growing storm in mind. Since we didn't have much time left with Jacob and Tom on the trip, who are getting photo/video content for us, we decide to make our way up to Brian Head, Utah were Dave's sister has a cabin we can wait out the storm.
As it turns out there is more going on with Tom's bike that a roadside service can't fix. We put his bike back on the trailer and continue on upwards on our way to Brian Head.
photo Jacob Day
Getting back on the road has a way of clearing your head of stresses and worries, even in the rain and cold. The mountain roads of Utah definitely play a roll in heightening that experience as well. Having never tackled a trip of anything close to this size before, it's settling in that the road is something that is very much alive. I couldn't help but to think, it's throwing tests and challenges at us earlier on to not only reveal itself to us, but to prove our worth to it. It was at that point my respect for the road grew.
Climbing in altitude the temperature dropped, fog grew, and rain increased. Surprising, our moods increased as well. Being surrounded in such beautiful landscape each mile we became more absorbed into it. Seeing this terrain under neutral skies and a blanket of moisture, we felt was a privilege and would have it no other way.
photo Jacob Day
photo Tom Laveuf
With few miles planned for the day, we took advantage of pulling over at our leisure to better capture our environment.
photo Tom Laveuf
10,000ft in elevation, mid 30 degrees, and the rain becoming hale we make it to the cabin where we'll warm up and watch the storm change into real display of force.
photo Tom Laveuf
Good Luck Tour Finally Rolling.. Breakdowns October 15 2016, 0 Comments
photo Jacob Day
The Tour was finally off and running, now with all of us together we set out to cover some miles. My CB550 was the first to start giving us some trouble. While on our way to the first fill up of the day, my bike starts cutting out, sneezing, and wanting to die. limping it the gas station and filling up I pushed it into the shopping center across the parking lot to brain storm what could be going on. After bouncing some ideas back and forth I assume my mechanical advance is sticking and clean and lube it up. Thinking back, since it was a new bike and I still hadn't got used it its character or it mine. I easily could have just been running out of gas. Whatever the case, I never had the issue again. Back on the road, it was good to get out of Vegas and start heading up to Utah.
photos Jacob Day
30 miles out, in North Las Vegas, Tom starts to fade back in the "something is wrong" sort of way. Dave and I slow down and wait while Tom is, fortunately, able to coast up to us. As he's explaining the issue he's having, it was hard to understand with our helmets on, so we decide to get off the highway to a, very convenient, open gravel lot.
photo Jacob Day
As he explains what was going on before it cut out, which was the motor cutting out, surging, and then dying completely with no signs of battery power, all possibilities of causes are running through my head. Tom and I start running through the basics, like is it a loose ground, broken connection, or a short. The grounds are good, even after adding another main ground to be sure, so our next suspect was a broken connection. This turned out to be a memory lesson for me since I wired his bike. Without wanting to completely destroy the harness, I tried to statically check solder points on the ignition and switched hot circuits looking for a short or broken connections. All checking out, we agreed the charging system was suspect. The last system we wanted an issue with. We packed nearly every tool to completely tear all our bikes down, a multimeter was one that was not packed. Key for diagnosing charging issues.
Fortunately, our good buddy Jacob was with us in a chase car getting photos and drone footage on the first stretch. As Tom and I continued to brainstorm on a diagnosis, Jacob ran back into town to buy jumper cables and a multimeter. With no new ideas, Jacob returns with jumps and an analog meter. Never using an analog before I immediately blow the fuse on the meter checking battery voltage, which helped adding some comic relief to the situation. Switching to the jumpers from his car to the lithium battery on the bike, with you're not supposed to do, we get the bike started and all is well till removing the cables and the bike duplicates the initial symptoms of the issue. Without the proper meter, we're still uncertain if it the battery or charging system, so we remove the battery and connect the jumpers directly to the battery leads. Keeping the rpms high and disconnecting the cables the bike dies instantly meaning it is in fact a charging issue. Great.
With a glimpse of hope we call every shop within 50 miles that showed up under a search of motorcycle searching for an 8 wire regulator/rectifier. Being the only part of the charging system that wasn't replaced new. No luck.
We were all very determined to keep Tom on the trip, so splitting up and towing the bike home was not as option. So some creative thinking later we found a cheap trailer on craigslist to at least buy us some time will we get a replacement reg/rec overnighted to our next destination, a hotel in Saint George, Utah.
Tom rushes to meet at potentially sketchy dude about a potentially sketch trailer, when a potentially sketchy dude parks his car and approaches us. With a limp and one hook for a hand we meet Rude, as to make clear "like a dude with a bad attitude." I'm on the phone with Jarred who's at the Seaweed custom shop back home working on getting one of our extra reg/recs overnighted as Dave and Jacob chat with curious stranger. Walking into a conversation cold I pick up on talk of cars, motorcycles, and engine building and tuning, it wasn't hard to jump right in. It had to be more than a couple hours go by as we chat with our new bud, only breaking when he remembers a new friend he could call about sourcing our needed part.
It's getting late and only a few hours of valuable sunlight remain and we are all getting bit restless. Rude offers a ride to Jacob in this car, which was a built to hell 500+ hp AWD VW GTI, in his generosity to do something for us. Jacob politely refused, but I couldn't let chance pass. Upon sitting in his car Rude informs me, in his newly familiar humor, that it's not wise to get into a built car with a man with a partially working hand, a hook as the other, and one leg behind the wheel. The leg one leg was news to me. Nonetheless, I wasn't going anywhere. Rude, shifted through the gears faster than most veteran drivers with all their limbs. After reaching 150 very quickly I look over to just a hook on the wheel as we 4 wheel drift around a cresting turn after the long straight. Circling back to the lot I was still in an adrenaline filled laugh. Dave and Jacob pleased to see us back safe and without any more missing limbs, we say our thanks and goodbyes to our new butthead buddy.
With Tom returning with a seen better days trailer, we load up and make our way north toward Utah. Getting only just over 100 miles in mostly nightfall to a campground, we find that there were no spots available as a storm starts to close in on us. With our patience tested all day, it was difficult not to be frustrated but we pushed through it as we geared up for another stretch to Cedar City, Utah to the closest vacancy in the area. We had our first best sleep of our lives that night. That 50ish mile run in the poring rain while exhausted from the day was a true test of our mental strength and endurance. Something we will later find as a valuable attribute to have on a trip like this with the bike we're on. -Brady
Good Luck Tour Build Process.. Day 11 September 01 2016, 0 Comments
Seat is done and she is almost complete! Time for testing, breaking in the motor and get some last little things worked out.
Good Luck Tour Build Process.. Time Lapse Assembly August 25 2016, 0 Comments
Here is Brady's assembly process on his CB550 brat cafe for the Seaweed and Gravel Good Luck Tour.
Good Luck Tour Build Process.. Day 8 August 25 2016, 0 CommentsDay 8
The engine is in! Carbs are one! and next is wiring and pipes! Waiting for the seat from the upholsterer.
Good Luck Tour Build Process.. Day 7 August 25 2016, 0 Comments
Everything is painted and ready to assemble! Here is the rolling chassis. This is the fun part! Most of the planning is worked out and all the parts have arrived, all that's left is put it all together.
Good Luck Tour Build Process.. Day 6 August 25 2016, 0 Comments
Breakdown for Paint! Get all the pieces organized for paint. He is not going to powder coat this bike due to time. Powder coating is backed up about 3-4 weeks! We ain't got time for that.
Good Luck Tour Build Process.. Day 2 August 25 2016, 0 Comments
Good Luck Tour Build
Brady Young has the idea already in his head what he wants to do with this Honda CB550. It is a different kind of build, being that it is for him and not a client. This opens up all the possibilities to create whatever he wants and to think and move in a quick manner to solve challenges. Making everything really subtle and simplified is the overall goal. Stock modified would be the term. Fabrication of the mono shock conversion and seat hoop is seen here. Working out all the angles and lines to flow together.